Monsoon woes

<B>We have had serious water leakages from the terrace on to the floor below last year during rains,in our house.

Written by Vandna Narain | Published:July 11, 2009 12:32 am

We have had serious water leakages from the terrace on to the floor below last year during rains,in our house. We would have to do fresh waterproofing on our terrace to prevent such a situation from reoccurring. We want to know about the various water proofing products available in the market and their application.

Ahluwalias,New Delhi

There are a variety of waterproofing products available in the market. They are: 1. APP Membrane (Atactic Poly Propylene membrane) – This is for use in external areas like for the waterproofing of a terrace. Once applied,it needs to be protected by cement screed and plaster. 2. Acrylic (Polymer) Coatings- This cold,cement based waterproofing offers little elasticity. This waterproofing can be used inside water-tanks and basements as this coating is food-grade. It is not recommended for terraces as the surface is subject to high temperature differences. 3. Bitumen- This impregnated with tarfelt is used for waterproofing. Tarfelt prevents it from becoming brittle and webbed. 4. EPDM- (Ethylene Propylene dine Membrane) and TPO (Thermo plastic membrane) –This waterproofing product is widely used nowadays for terraces (as is your requirement) since it is highly elastic and UV stable. Also these are available in large sizes therefore there are minimum joints and possibility of leakages.

However I would recommend calling in experts to get the best advise regarding the kind of waterproofing you should go in for specific to your case and site conditions.

We want to get an ionizer for our bedroom and parts of our house,since we are all very sensitive to air quality in the house. What all should we keep in mind while purchasing an ionizer,since there is a large variety of ionizers in the market available nowadays. Also what is the general price range of ionizers?

Prithviraj,Pune

Pollution is there not only in the outdoor environment but indoor in houses as well. The air we breathe indoors is full of dust,smoke particles,bacteria,viruses etc. Some of us are more sensitive than others to the quality of air outdoors as well as indoors. A lot of people are going in for ionizers for their homes nowadays. An ionizer cleans air in three ways: by collecting particles in filters – either mechanical or electronic,by creating an ionic or static charge to collect particles in a collection plate or through a combination of these methods.

When selecting an ionizer,chose the one which takes care of the impurities you wish to remove. Some ionizers have a built in smart sensor system that scans the air inside your room for dust,odour and other pollutants and accordingly purifies the air. Another type of ionizer has a 6 plus one filtration system and nano pure anti virus and anti odour technology. To remove suspended particles in the air a high efficiency particle arresting purifier will be effective. However to kill harmful bacteria and viruses in the air a UVA filter base purifier is recommended. The price range of ionizers is from Rs 2500 to almost Rs 20000. Ideally they should be used in parts of the house where one spends a lot of time such as the bedroom and the living room.

We want some side and centre tables with different table tops made from existing side and centre tables with conventional wooden tops. These tables are very old and are full of scratches,stains and water marks. What are the options available to us? We would like to retain their bases and the table tops should be low on maintenance.

Mohan Kamat,Mumbai

The various options available to you in terms of table tops for the centre and side tables keeping in mind the factors you have mentioned are the following. Firstly,you can go in for a laminated table top,i.e. a one or one and half inch commercial board base with a laminate over it. Laminates are available in a variety of colours and wooden grain textures,as well as matt and glossy finishes. A laminated table top would be easy to maintain as it is easily wipe-able with a wet cloth. Also it is free of staining or water marks. Secondly,you have the option of having a glass table top. Since you have not mentioned the sizes of the tables the glass thickness can be suitably decided depending on the size of the table and the nature of the framework below. Glass tops are easy to wipe and maintain,however it is not scratch free. It can be covered with a table cloth if required. In case you go in for a table with an exposed glass top the glass peripheral edges can be chamfered or bevelled as well to further beautify it. Lastly,you can consider having a table with a tiled top. A wide variety of ceramic and vitreous tiles are available in a vast range of colours and patterns nowadays and the table top can be artistically designed with tiles to match the décor of the room. A tiled table top is easy to maintain. However,one has to be careful of dirt collecting in the joints. A tiled table top can be combined with a bit of wood or a laminate on the table top as per taste to make it look interesting. Lastly you can go in for a stone top table using a single piece of stone. Any variety of marble,Jaisalmer stone or any stone that fits your budget and taste can be used for the same. But be careful of not going in for light colour marbles as some varieties are soft and porous are susceptible to staining. Also these tables can be made in any shape depending on where they are placed. They can be rectangular,square,oval or circular. You have not mentioned the material of the table bases,I presume it is either of wood or metal. In either of the cases,any of the above mentioned table tops can be fixed on the existing table bases. I think these suggestions come in handy for you. l

The author is an architect

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